Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nike EYBL Session Three LA: Final Thoughts

The Nike Elite Youth Basketball regular season came to an end on Monday, leaving a number of teams outside of the top 20, and hoping for one of a handful of at large bids (we think there are 4) to the prestigious Peach Jam scheduled for mid-July in South Carolina. On the the final day of league play, there were some upsets at the top. Most notable was the ICP's 76-64 upset win over previously unbeaten St. Louis Eagles. as has been proven in this league over the past several events, with so much talent, anybody can be beaten on any given day.

Despite their 60-70 loss to the Team Arizona, All-Ohio Red punched their ticket to the Peach Jam by finishing 7-7 overall and tied for 5th place in league play. In the Arizona game, Red was plagued by poor shooting and soft defense, as the Arizona kids easily found driving lanes and open looks. All-Ohio was paced by Trey Burke's 17 points, followed by Elijah Macon (10 points), and Stevie Taylor and George Fant (9 points). It's important to note, Elijah Macon had a great tournament and appears to be playing more inspired basketball. Due to a scheduling error, King James was forced to fly back to Ohio on Sunday night, thereby forfeiting their final game against Each One Teach One on Monday, resulting in a 6th place finish and possible exclusion from the Peach Jam.

Team Takeover pulled out a 66-61 win over Spiece on the strength of Michael Gbinije's 25 point explosion. Rapheal Davis led Spiece with 18 points, while Marquis Teague added 13 points and Nic Moore finished with 8 points. Despite a tough weekend for The Family (1-4 on the weekend), the Michigan-based team will be heading to the Peach Jam with their 5th place finish. Team Final smashed the Tennessee Travelers 92-64. Michael Gilchrist dropped 22 points, followed by Trevor Cooney (16 points), Shawn Valentine (12 points) and Aaron Brown (11 points). Craig Bradshaw led the Travelers with 15 points and Zach Garland contributed 10 points. My hat goes off to Nike and their decision to create the EYBL! By most accounts, so far in the regular season the league has been fantastic. As I have watched these kids play over the first 3 events, I have been extremely impressed with the level of play, intensity and team focus. I can only assume Nike is going to send the league off in style at the championship event (Peach Jam) in July. Look far a war in South Carolina in a few weeks! Visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page to see more pictures. Also, check out the CourtCred.com video highlighting their pic for the top 5 plays of the weekend.

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